Turangawaewae: an exploration through painting
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This project explores painting in relation to concepts of tangata whenua (people of the land), whakapapa (genealogy) and turangawaewae (a place to stand) that is informed by cultural, historical and spiritual connections to whenua (land). The project focuses on articulating my desire to imbue the work with a sense of wairua (spiritual essence) and mauri (living life principle) that may communicate a transcendental sensibility or quality to the viewer. It also outlines the context of my practice as a wahine painter, drawing on aesthetic and thematic parallels to other New Zealand artists. Generally the project explores the potential of how my paintings could open up a way for the viewer to experience the sensibilities of the specific landscape/places I am depicting, and convey a sense or feeling of the subtleties of Māori history and ancestry, an awareness of an environment that is in continuous change, and empathy for an indigenous emotional and spiritual connection to landscape.